Have you ever been frustrated with yourself over a decision or decisions you made about something or someone? What about the times you set out to do something, and you didn’t do it only to end up doing something you didn’t intend to? I want you to know you are not alone.
Our verse of the day comes from Romans 7:14-25. It is a tad longer today, but you need the whole context to understand what the Apostle Paul is trying to convey.
“We know that the law is spiritual, but I am unspiritual, sold as a slave to sin. I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do, I do not do, but what I hate I do. And if I do what I do not want to do, I agree that the law is good. As it is, it is no longer I myself who do it, but it is sin living in me.
For I know that good itself does not dwell in me, that is, in my sinful nature. For I have the desire to do what is good, but I cannot carry it out. For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing. Now if I do what I do not want to do, it is no longer I who do it, but it is sin living in me that does it.
So I find this law at work: Although I want to do good, evil is right there with me. For in my inner being, I delight in God’s law; but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me. What a wretched man I am! Who will rescue me from this body that is subject to death? Thanks be to God, who delivers me through Jesus Christ our Lord!”
Wow, that’s a lot!
Let’s break it down a bit.
The law had its origin in God. Some commentaries believe the Apostle Paul is describing his current Christian experience. Even believers have seeds of rebellion in their hearts. We Christians, like Paul, fail to meet the moral and ethical demands of the gospel. We can get frustrated because we do what we do not want to do and not do what we want to do.
The passages also point to the persistent nature of sin. SIn can be persistent and cause struggle. That struggle within creates tension, confusion, and uncertainty and oftentimes leads to frustration.
Even when we like Paul are disobedient or rebellious, the Holy Spirit reveals to us the essential goodness of the law.
Sin can have great control over the believer’s life if they are not careful.
However, deliverance can come through Christ, not through legalistic efforts.
We, as Christians, will always fight the enslaving power of sin in ours lives. What’s comforting to me is to know that one day I will no longer battle my sinful nature. But until then, I press on each day. I try to do my best not to do what I don’t want to do while I try to do what I do want to do, which leaves me less frustrated with myself.